How to increase sales during the end-of-year sales period in Asia?

14 min read
Nigel Seah

The end-of-year sales period in Asia, especially around Christmas, is more than just a season; it's a vibrant tapestry of cultural celebrations, shopping frenzies, and business opportunities. The perfect time for small businesses and larger enterprises alike to increase sales, attract new customers, and end the year with a bang. As the final months of the year roll in, there's an unmistakable buzz that permeates the air.

From the bustling Christmas street markets of Bangkok to the sophisticated digital hubs of Tokyo, businesses of all sizes eagerly anticipate a significant sales surge. This unique blend of festive fervor and heightened consumer enthusiasm sets the stage for unparalleled opportunities. However, with such vast potential also comes intense competition.


This article seeks to unravel these questions, offering finely-tuned strategies tailored to the Asian marketplace. By blending time-honored techniques with innovative approaches, we aim to provide a roadmap to elevate your year-end profits.

Whether you're a small local enterprise making waves in e-commerce, aiming to attract new customers, or a seasoned global brand seeking a fresh sales strategy and perspective, these insights promise to be both enlightening and actionable. So, as Asia gears up for its most lucrative sales season, including the Christmas rush, are you ready to seize the moment and make an impact? Dive in and let's explore together.

Statistics on end-of-year e-commerce sales revenue in Asia

Asia's end-of-year e-commerce sales are showcasing unparalleled growth, marking the region as a pivotal hub in the global e-commerce landscape. 

By 2023, revenue earned in Asia's e-commerce market is anticipated to soar to an impressive $1,811.00 billion, with the fashion industry taking the lead. The monumental Singles’ Day event, celebrated on November 11th, alone registered sales surpassing $139 billion USD in 2021. Alibaba, a titan in the Asian market, boasted a gross merchandise volume (GMV) of $84.5 billion USD during this singular event. 

Additionally, the e-commerce gross merchandise value in Southeast Asia is predicted to nearly double, reaching US$254 billion within the next five years from the US$132 billion estimated in 2021. As the digital landscape evolves, driven by factors such as the pandemic and innovative sales techniques, Asia's e-commerce realm is set to break new ground. 

Given these trends and emerging business opportunities, Asia is poised to not only sustain this momentum but also redefine global e-commerce paradigms in the ensuing years.

Key end-of-year sales season in Asia

11.11 sale


Ah, the 11.11 sale, also fondly known as Singles’ Day. Originating as a Chinese shopping holiday, it's the antithesis of Valentine's Day. While it started in China, it's now a sensation across Southeast Asia. The date, with all its ones, was cleverly chosen to represent 'single' living. And guess what? Alibaba, a major player in the e-commerce world, has been making waves with this sale, drawing in massive traffic and revenue. 

As we’ve seen from the statistics, this is a great period to consider when developing your sales strategy to acquire new customers. From gadgets to garments, there's something for everyone during this sale.

Lunar new year

When we talk about the Lunar New Year or the Chinese New Year, we're ushering in the start of the Chinese calendar. This vibrant festival is celebrated with gusto in countries like Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam. It's not just about the dragon dances and lanterns; it's also a prime shopping time in these countries.

Lazada birthday sale

Let's talk about birthdays, specifically Lazada's! As Southeast Asia's e-commerce giant, Lazada throws a massive birthday bash with discounts soaring up to 90% for a 24-hour 'sales festival'. Whether you're in the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, or Malaysia, there's a shopping spree waiting for you.

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

Ramadan is a serene and reflective time in the Islamic calendar, where Muslims fast from dawn to dusk. But come evening, the festive feasts and shopping begin, especially in Muslim-majority countries like Indonesia and Malaysia. Following Ramadan, there's Eid al-Fitr, a festival that varies in name across countries but remains a significant shopping period.

The Great Singapore Sale (GSS)

Singapore might be small, but when it comes to sales, it goes big! The Great Singapore Sale is a shopping extravaganza that pulls in shoppers from all over the globe. While it's a treat to walk through Singapore's glitzy malls, online deals during this sale are equally irresistible.

Black Friday

Black Friday might have its roots in the West, but its fame has crossed oceans. Marking the onset of the shopping season, it's a day when brands go all out with discounts, and shoppers go all in with their wallets. From tech gadgets to trendy outfits, the deals are endless

Cyber Monday

Following the Black Friday frenzy, we have Cyber Monday, a day dedicated to online shopping aficionados. It's a continuation of the shopping marathon, with brands offering a plethora of online deals. So, if you missed out on Black Friday, Cyber Monday has got your back.

How can you increase sales during the end-of-year sales period and close the year with a bang?

Set up your online store in advance and promote it

As the end of the year approaches, it's a strategic time to refine your online presence. Setting up and promoting your online store is a foundational step. Ensure your e-commerce platform is streamlined, mobile-responsive, and well-stocked. Slow-loading pages or complicated navigation can deter potential customers. 

You cannot build an online presence sustainably without SEO.

Incorporating SEO best practices into your content can significantly improve your store's visibility on search engines. This means optimizing product descriptions, meta tags, and images. Additionally, content writing plays a pivotal role. Craft clear, concise, and informative product descriptions and blog posts that can educate and engage visitors. 

A practical example to consider is how platforms like Etsy guide their sellers to use specific keywords to improve product visibility. By integrating both SEO and quality content writing, your online store will not only attract visitors but also enhance user experience, encouraging them to stay and shop.

Utilize social media and online advertising

In today's digital age, social media platforms are more than just places to share vacation photos. They're powerful marketing tools. Consider the success story of Glossier. Much of its growth can be attributed to its strong Instagram presence. But it's not just about organic reach. Pairing your social media strategy with targeted online advertising, like Google Ads, can amplify your reach. Nike, for instance, has a knack for creating engaging posts that resonate across platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Their approach is a testament to the power of consistent branding and understanding your audience.

Engage in retargeting campaigns

We've all been there. Browsing an e-commerce site, adding items to the cart, and then, for some reason, not completing the purchase. As a business, it's frustrating. But here's the good news: with retargeting campaigns, you can remind those potential customers of what they're missing out on.

Combine retargeting and regular PPC ads for maximum effect!

Retargeting is a marketing strategy where you target potential customers who've interacted with your brand but haven't made a purchase. With tools like Google Ads, you can display ads to these users as they browse other sites, nudging them to return. To make this work, you'll need a retargeting platform, like Google Ads or Facebook Ads Manager, and a list of customers or visitors you want to target.

Set up your campaign by defining your audience and creating engaging ads. Maybe it's a reminder of the items they left in their cart or a special limited-time discount to entice them back. Segment your audience based on their behaviors, and tailor your ads to each segment for maximum impact. And always set a frequency cap to ensure you're not overwhelming your audience. Evernote, for instance, does a fantastic job with its retargeting ads, reminding visitors of the benefits of their app as they browse other sites.

Market to your existing customer base with email marketing


Engaging with your existing customers can be beneficial. Email marketing offers a direct line of communication. Segment your email list to provide tailored offers and ensure your emails are optimized for all devices. Regular communication, like giving previews of upcoming sales, can keep your brand at the forefront of their minds.

Create promotional bundles

Offering promotional bundles can be an effective way to increase sales. By grouping related products at a discounted rate, customers often perceive higher value. It's important to ensure that bundled products complement each other. Many businesses, like tech companies, bundle related products, such as a laptop with relevant software, to provide a comprehensive package to the customer.

Take advantage of cross-selling and up-selling

Cross-selling and up-selling can enhance the shopping experience. By suggesting related or premium products, you can provide customers with more choices. It's about understanding and catering to your customers' needs. For instance, online platforms often suggest related products, enhancing the shopping experience by offering additional options.

Timing can play a crucial role in sales. The end of the year brings several significant sales dates. By aligning your sales strategy with these dates, you can better position your business to take advantage of increased shopping activity. Starting promotions slightly ahead of the actual sale date can be effective. E-commerce platforms, like Lazada, often align their major sales with popular dates, ensuring they capture the attention of shoppers during peak times.

Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)

Brazilian men’s beachwear brand Bannanna has a dedicated Instragm account for USC to showcase their products.

As the end of the year approaches, businesses are always on the lookout for innovative ways to boost sales. One such method is leveraging User-Generated Content (UGC). Essentially, UGC is any form of content, like videos, images, or reviews, created by users rather than brands. It's a fantastic way to build trust and showcase real-life experiences with your products.

To make the most of UGC, you'll need an engaged customer base willing to share their experiences and a platform to showcase their content. Encourage your customers to share photos or reviews of their purchases on social media. Create a unique hashtag for your brand or a specific marketing campaign and ask customers to use it. Offering incentives like contests where the best photo or review wins a prize can be effective. And always remember, GoPro showcases videos taken by its users, highlighting the product's capabilities and building a community of engaged users.

Host webinars or livestreams

Webinars and live streams have become increasingly popular in the e-commerce world, especially as more consumers turn to online platforms for their shopping needs. These interactive sessions offer businesses a unique opportunity to directly engage with potential customers, showcase products, and provide valuable insights. 


The key to a successful webinar is offering content that's both informative and engaging. Consider hosting a product demonstration, a tutorial, or even a Q&A session. Promote your webinar using social media, email newsletters, and even partnerships with other brands. 

Offering limited-time special offers or discounts to attendees can also boost participation. Engage with your audience throughout the session using polls, quizzes, and interactive chats. After the webinar, share the recording on platforms like YouTube or LinkedIn to reach a broader audience.

Collaborate with Influencers


Influencer marketing has proven to be a powerful tool, especially in regions where trust plays a pivotal role in purchasing decisions. 

It's not always about numbers; sometimes, a micro-influencer with a smaller but highly engaged audience can drive better results than a celebrity with millions of followers. Ensure you and the influencer are on the same page regarding deliverables, messaging, and compensation. 

The most successful influencer collaborations feel genuine. Instead of a scripted message, allow the influencer to share their genuine experience with your product. Consider working with influencers as one of your marketing strategies and use tools and analytics to track the success of the campaign, helping refine future collaborations.

Implement a loyalty program

Loyalty programs have been around for ages, but their importance in today's competitive e-commerce landscape cannot be overstated. Offer rewards that resonate with your audience, whether it's discounts, early access to new products, or exclusive merchandise. With the rise of mobile shopping, consider integrating your loyalty program with an app, allowing customers to easily track their points and rewards. Award points for actions other than purchases, like writing reviews or referring friends. Recognize and reward your loyal customers on special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries. This personal touch can go a long way in fostering customer loyalty.

Introduce a referral program

Ah, the power of word-of-mouth! As the end of the year approaches and the holiday season kicks in, businesses are gearing up for those crucial year-end sales. And what better way to tap into new potential customers than by leveraging the trust of your existing ones? Enter the referral program.

A referral program is essentially a win-win for both you and your customers. Your existing customers refer friends and family to your business, and in return, they get rewards. It's like having a team of brand ambassadors without the hefty price tag. To set this up, you'll need a clear system to track referrals and rewards, which could be a unique referral code, a digital platform, or even a simple card system for small businesses.

Promote your referral program across all channels - social media, email newsletters, and even in-store. The key is to make it enticing. Offer special offers or limited-time discounts for both the referrer and the referee. Keep the process simple and regularly update and refresh the incentives. And always acknowledge and thank your customers for their referrals. A shining example is Dropbox. By offering extra storage space for both parties, they managed to increase their sign-ups significantly.

Are you ready to close of your fiscal year with a bang?

Navigating the vibrant end-of-year sales landscape in Asia requires a blend of tradition, innovation, and keen market insight. As the countdown to the year's end begins, there's a sense of urgency to meet sales goals and set the stage for next year.

As we've journeyed through various strategies, it's evident that the Asian market, with its rich cultural tapestry and evolving consumer behaviors, offers a goldmine of opportunities. Yet, it's not just about seizing the moment; it's about crafting a compelling value proposition, building lasting relationships, understanding regional nuances, and consistently adapting.

From leveraging the power of digital platforms to tapping into the trust of loyal customers, the path to boosting sales is multifaceted. As the year draws to a close and businesses across Asia gear up for the grand finale during the holiday sales season, it's essential to remember that this is the perfect time to not only meet but exceed sales goals and lay a solid foundation for the coming year.

Embrace the lessons from the past, innovate for the future, and always keep the unique spirit of the Asian market at the heart of your strategies. With festive lights illuminating the streets and digital campaigns sparking interest, here's to maximizing your sales potential, achieving your sales goals, and ushering in a prosperous new year!

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